Chrysler Group confirms possible investment

Dec. 1, 2010
To produce future generation front-wheel-drive transmission

Chrysler Group has confirmed that it is looking to invest $843 million into the company's existing transmission manufacturing facilities in Kokomo, Ind., to accommodate production of a new advanced front-wheel drive automatic transmission for future Chrysler Group vehicles.

With this announcement, the company's total investment in U.S. facilities would climb to nearly $3 billion since June 2009.

When combined with previously announced investments totaling $343 million in its Kokomo facilities, this potential new investment would make the City the recipient of the largest investment - $1.1 billion – in a single year in a single community.

The investment would fund the installation of equipment and special tooling to modernize the Indiana Transmission Plants and the Kokomo Casting Plant.

Chrysler Group will be partnering with Friedrichshafen, Germany-based ZF Group on the next generation front-wheel drive transmission, which is making its designs and technology available to the company and its Kokomo plants.

"For years, Kokomo has been at the center of our powertrain strategy and the potential of an additional investment reaffirms that position," said Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Chrysler Group. "When introduced, this new front-wheel drive transmission, along with the previously announced eight-speed transmission we will also produce in Kokomo, will transform our future products and position them as leaders in marketplace.

"With the promise of investing more than $1 billion into our Kokomo facilities within the last six months, we are demonstrating our commitment to this community and our dedicated workforce," Marchionne said. "We appreciate the support of the UAW and the City of Kokomo, and look forward to continuing a partnership that will see the Chrysler Group once again become a successful and competitive enterprise."

The Indiana Transmission Plant currently produces the 45 RFE rear-wheel-drive transmission for Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, Dodge Dakota and Ram Trucks and 68 RFE for Cummins Diesel, Heavy Duty.

Indiana Transmission Plant II produces the W5A580 5-speed transmission for the Chrysler 300, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Nitro and Dodge Charger.

The Kokomo Casting Plant manufactures aluminum parts for automotive components, transmission and transaxle cases.

Earlier this year, Chrysler Group announced that it would invest a total of $343 million in its Kokomo facilities - $43 million to increase capacity at the Company's Kokomo Casting and Kokomo Transmission plants, adapt them to support production of the World Engine and improve processes for the 62TE transmission program; and $300 million to accommodate a new highly fuel-efficient eight-speed automatic transmission for future Chrysler Group vehicles.

Chrysler Group was formed in 2009 from a global strategic alliance with Fiat Group, produces Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Truck and Mopar brand vehicles and products.

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